While summer in Greece probably stretches a bit further than in most of Europe, our weather has also turned recently. It is still fairly warm, but really, really windy, which is the taste of impending winter, Greek island-style. In some ways, winter here is quite tough. After the craze of summer, the place gets so empty and shut down that it would be depressing if not for the amazing nature around us. Winter (and the peak of Greek summer) also tends to sabotage my running plans. Every time I get into a steady running routine and quietly congratulate myself on sticking with it, a week of 24 m/h (40km/h) winds appear on the horizon and I’m back to square one. In other ways though, I’m looking forward to winter. For starters, cooking in relentless heat can be quite challenging so a bit of cooler weather makes it a much more pleasant pastime. Another thing I am looking forward to are cold winter evenings spent under a warm blanket with a cat sleeping next to me, catching up on favourite shows and enjoying some nice wine and food, including more decadent desserts like these vegan chocolate and salted caramel tarts.
- 120 g white all purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 6 level tsp icing sugar
- 6 level tsp raw cacao
- 40 ml / 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 20-30 ml / 1½-2 tbsp water (at room temperature)
- ½ cup sugar (I used brown raw cane)
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk + ¼ cup (see instructions)
- ¾ level tsp fine salt
- 75 g dark (70% cocoa) chocolate
- 60 ml / ¼ cup full fat coconut milk
- 30 ml / 2 tbsp water
- 2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- Sift flour, icing sugar and cacao into a mixing bowl. Add olive oil and rub it into the dry ingredients with your hands. Finally add water – be careful, do it gradually – how much water you’ll need depends on how absorbent your flour is (mine needed 25 ml). Combine all the ingredients into a dough gently, but do not knead. Wrap it in a piece of cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into 4 portions. Place each portion of the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll gently until you get a rough circle, about 2-3 mm in thickness. (Below a photo from another tart recipe illustrates how to line tart moulds with shortcrust pastry).
- Put each rolled-out pastry over each mould and and work the pastry into the mould making sure it reaches all nooks and crannies. Once you are happy with the coverage, trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork in a few places. Place the pastry in the fridge for about 60 mins.
- 45 min into pastry chilling time, preheat the oven to 175° C / 350° F. Line the pastry cases with a small piece of baking paper and fill with baking beads.
- Blind bake the pastry for 15 mins, then remove the beads and bake for another 5 mins. Cool pastry cases down completely before pouring any of the filling in.
You can find complete recipes of this VEGAN CHOCOLATE AND SALTED CARAMEL TARTS in lazycatkitchen.com